A NZ report on the science of fluoridation conducted this year by the NZ Royal Society at the request of concerned city councils was of poor quality and misleading, according to an international critical review released today.
Contributors and peer reviewers of the critique include international experts in fluoridation science, toxicology, and risk assessment, some of whom took part in the biggest review of the health effects of water fluoridation, conducted by the U.S. National Research Council in 2006.
The Royal Society report failed to meet minimum standards of scientific reviews, designed to guard against bias in the selection and interpretation of evidence, says Dr. Stan Litras, convener of the independent dentist study group Fluoride Information Network for Dentists (FIND).
Its conclusions are totally at odds with major metadata studies, and offer unsupported claims of safety.
The review aimed to give some balance to the Royal Society report by highlighting research which was overlooked or misrepresented, in the public interest. It was commissioned by Fluoride Free New Zealand and also includes details released under the Official Information Act.
Councils who are considering whether or not to put artificial fluoride in their citizens’ drinking water, a measure endorsed by the dental association, are urged to consider this paper in conjunction with the Royal Society report during their decision making.
It is crucial that decisions which can affect the public health are made on the basis of accurate and uncompromised information, Dr. Litras says.